New research suggests that children from wealthy families are hit harder by divorce than children from families with less income.
A study at Georgetown University, published in the most recent issue of the journal Child Development, found that divorce causes behavioral problems in more wealthy children than it does in children of poor families. The study looked at 4,000 children who were participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, dividing the children into three income groups and studying "the effect of change in family structure" in each group, Time reports.
"Our findings suggest that family changes affect children's behavior in higher-income families more than children's behavior in lower-income families — for better and for worse," Rebecca Ryan, the study's lead author and an assistant professor of psychology at Georgetown University, told Time.
Ryan also noted that the researchers aren't sure why higher income is linked to behavioral problems, though she speculates it may be because of the loss of income or the need to move to a new neighborhood or school. The study also found that children were most vulnerable to behavioral problems resulting from parents' separation when they were three to five years old, while parental separation had "no effect" on behavioral changes in children aged six to 12.